Breast Cancer Awareness Talk

On the 29th of April 2019, Ger Collins and Adrian McCleery visited our school to give the 4th, 5th and 6th-year girls a talk on Breast Cancer Awareness and Breast Cancer Ireland.

First, Ger Collins, a local woman shared her inspirational (although she does not believe herself to be an inspirational woman) story of how she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer four years ago. She described the significant events of her journey such as having her youngest son shave her head for her and her second youngest son shave his head with her, to support her. Ger claims the support of friends and family and her positive attitude helped her through her journey. She says she now doesn’t “sweat the small stuff” and has a different outlook on life, and she also says that “early detection is survival” and volunteers her time with Breast Cancer Ireland to raise awareness and teach young women about early detection and spotting the symptoms.

Adrian McCleery, the Outreach Nurse for Breast Cancer Ireland, spoke about Breast Cancer Ireland and the work they do. She explained how technology is advancing and how more and more women are being checked to lower the risk of Breast Cancer related deaths. Adrian recommended we all download the Breast Cancer Awareness app that gives monthly reminders to do a self-breast check.

The breast cancer awareness talk was highly informative. We learned about different signs of breast cancer such as the types of lumps and rashes. We were taught how to do breast checks from a young age so it becomes a habit when we get older. Ger’s admirable story taught us the importance of doing regular checks and how they can ultimately save your life.

The work Breast Cancer Awareness does is outstanding. The numbers of women who have died from breast cancer has greatly declined due to women now doing regular checks with the help of their free app reminding you to do so monthly, women between the age of 50 and 70 being invited for a routine screening and their amazing work in TY schools informing young people about the disease. Every girl got a door handle leaflet with steps on how to do a breast check shown on it and detailed images portraying what breast cancer can appear like. We were advised to begin performing breast checks on ourselves now in order to form a habit of it for when we get older. We had the opportunity to feel the lumps and rashes and view the different signs of breast cancer first hand on a mannequin.

Before going into the talk, breast cancer was something I didn’t have much knowledge about, however leaving the talk I felt much more informed and moved with all of the important information we were given. We would like to thank Ger and Adrian for taking their time to speak to us and for all of the marvellous work they do.

By Siobhán Molloy and Maria Doyle, TY Journalism